Anthem and Blue Shield Provide Online Tools to Assess Costs of Procedures

by John Hansen

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California are leading the way when it comes to transparency regarding the cost of various health care procedures. They are now providing online tools where consumers can look up various health care procedures, see average costs, and view mortality rates. This helps California consumers in two primary ways.

1. Members Can Shop For Affordable Rates

When your doctor or surgeon tells you a procedure is going to cost X amount of dollars, you can respond intelligently. You’ll know whether or not your medical provider is offering you a reasonable price.

In the past, health plan members often took their physician’s word for it, not having any way to know whether or not the price was affordable. Now, consumers can check average costs ahead of time. They can haggle for a better price, or they can vote with their feet and go find someone who will give them an affordable price.

2. Members Can Assess Whether or Not a Procedure is Worth the Risk

Mortality rates are worth checking. If you have a 15% chance of dying on the operating table, that may make you think twice before you agree to have the procedure. Physicians looking to make a buck may encourage you toward expensive procedures that may or may not be in your best interest.

These tools are very helpful:

  • Know what rates are affordable.
  • Know mortality rates.
  • And make educated decisions regarding your health care.